CCM has announced its lineup for the second installment of CCM Spoleto, a five-week festival and summer course in Spoleto, Italy. Spoleto, Italy is home of the famous Festival dei Due Mondi (also known as Festival di Spoleto), which was founded by Gian Carlo Menotti. In honor of Menotti’s 100th birthday in 2011, CCM Spoleto will present The Telephone (Menotti) as well as Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino. The double bill will be directed by Robin Guarino (J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera, CCM; Metropolitan Opera) and conducted by Annunziata Tomaro (CCM faculty; 2010 Pedrotti finalist).

The CCM Spoleto Festival Orchestra will also present a series of concerts featuring the music of Mahler and Rachmaninoff, among others. World-renowned violinist Chee-Yun will be a featured soloist, along with concerts conducted by Mark Gibson (CCM faculty) and Annunziata Tomaro (CCM faculty). Additionally, CCM Spoleto has been officially invited to participate in Festival dei Due Mondi, though details of that collaboration are yet to be announced.

The 2010 season of CCM Spoleto was ushered in with a warm welcome by Spoleto Minister of Culture and screenplay author of the Oscar-winning film La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful), Vincenzo Cerami. Cerami spoke at the first orchestral concert of the 2010 season, praising the students for their very high level of artistry. CCM Spoleto was folded into a larger series of cultural events in Spoleto, Sogno d’Estate, which is curated by Cerami.

The inaugural season closed with Spoleto mayor Daniele Benedetti honoring CCM Spoleto with the “Best New Cultural Initiative” Pro-Loco award. Benedetti thanked festival participants for “enriching the city of Spoleto through their art, talent, and mere presence.” CCM Spoleto is co-sponsored by the city of Spoleto, which provides, free of charge – theatres, classrooms, performance venues and marketing, as well as financial support.

“The inaugural season of CCM Spoleto exceeded all expectations,” says David Adams, artistic director (CCM faculty).  “We very much look forward to building on that momentum and intend to be here for years to come.”

“There were lines out the door for most of our performances and it was our first summer,” added CCM Spoleto General Manager Sara Danner Dukic. “Now that word has spread, I anticipate a lot of excitement for our second season.”  Danner Dukic is currently working with city of Spoleto officials and the Due Mondi administration on the 2011 season.

“We are honored to participate in Menotti’s birthday celebration and in a place that he loved very much,” says Robin Guarino.

Students will have an experience of a lifetime at CCM Spoleto to study and perform under the guidance of an international faculty of professional artists. Classes, lessons, coachings, master classes and performances are held in the beautiful Teatro Nuovo, Teatro Caio Melisso, and the Scuola di Musica di Spoleto, as well as local palazzos, churches and piazzas. Participants have the opportunity to immerse themselves further in Italian culture and daily Italian language classes are offered to all participants at various levels.

Aside from this new venture that is CCM Spoleto, several Cincinnati-Spoleto connections already existed, not least of which is Thomas Schippers.  The former music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was also a founder of the Festival dei Due Mondi with Gian Carlo Menotti.  Schippers was at the height of a brilliant career, having made several recordings with the Cincinnati Symphony and boosting the orchestra’s international profile, when he tragically died of cancer in 1977.  His ashes are encased in the wall at Piazza del Duomo in Spoleto, and his former residence near La Rocca (Spoleto’s ancient fortress) is marked with a commemorative plaque.

CCM Spoleto is administered by a team that includes: David Adams, artistic director and head of Performance Studies (CCM); Robin Guarino, J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera (CCM); Michele Kay, chair of Theatre Design and Production (CCM); and Sara Danner Dukic (CCM), General Manager.

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